As Thailand plans to reopen schools on May 17, a store owner in Northern Thailand’s province of Nakhon Sawan is donating old school uniforms to families who don’t have the money to buy their own. The store owner said that this is the second year the donation handout has been organised.
He said that last year, there was a similar event, where parents came to give away old school uniforms to children in need. The storeowner said that the store is now accepting donations for old uniforms.
This news comes as Thailand’s Department of Internal Trade is working with retailers to provide 10-69% discounts on school uniforms. All seven branches of Suksapanpanit stores, which are under state supervision, will slash the price of uniforms by 50%, and text books by 20-40%.
Other retailers participating in the discount include Samothong Garment, Nomjitt Manufacturing, TOPSON 1994, Somjainuk Teves, Bangkok Atlantic, and The Nanyang Marketing.
Meanwhile, other stores will offer discounts on school supplies and clothing including pens, notebooks, laptop tables, coloured pencils, highlighters, boy scout and Thai Red Cross uniforms, and shoes. The stores with discounts on these items are Lotus, Big C, Tang Hua Seng, Officemate, and stores under Central Group.
In some cases, Thais who can’t pay for school uniforms have resorted to stealing them. In 2020, a woman was detained for shoplifting school uniforms for her children in southern Thailand. The woman said she was struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and had no choice but to shoplift as she was unable to afford the cost of the uniforms. The woman, aged 26, was with her 8 year old daughter in a shopping mall in Chumphon, when security guards noticed her shoplifting skirts, shorts, and shoes. She was detained in a backroom of the store while police were called.
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